The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung (translated literally as Fraunhofer Society for the Advancement of Applied Research) is a recognized non-profit organization founded in Munich in 1949, which takes its name from Joseph von Fraunhofer (1787–1826), the illustrious Munich researcher, inventor and entrepreneur.

The idea behind Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft inception was to develop new structures for research after the war's destruction, and to spur the reconstruction of the economy. It started out as a small office with just three employees; today, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft has attained a size and influence that makes it an undisputed reference in Europe’s industrial and scientific landscape, being considered one of the largest organizations for applied research in Europe, with:

  • 67 institutes and research unites;
  • 24.000 staff, the majority being qualified scientists and engineers;
  • € 2.1 billion of annual research budget (€1.8 billion generated through contract research).

With its clearly defined mission of application-oriented research and its focus on key technologies of relevance to the future, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft plays a prominent role in the German and European innovation process. Through their research and development work, the Fraunhofer Institutes help to reinforce the competitive strength of the economy in their local region, and throughout Germany and Europe. They do so by promoting innovation, strengthening the technological base, improving the acceptance of new technologies, and helping to train the urgently needed future generation of scientists and engineers.

The decision to establish Fraunhofer Portugal and the growing presence of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft outside Germany, with affiliated research centers and representative offices in Europe, America and Asia, allow Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft to be in contact with regions that considers of greatest importance to present and future scientific progress and economic development, further extending the reach of its mission principles.

To access the complete list of Fraunhofer research establishments and representative offices, please click here.